For years website owners have been told by SEO geeks that getting lots of quality backlinks was the holy grail of getting ranked on Google. The more backlinks, the greater chance of getting search traffic. This was true in 2012, but simply isn’t the case any more – Which is really good news.
For years it was always a problem getting quality back-links, unless you paid for them (which was a high risk strategy, since it could get you banned by Google). Most settled by doing it through the various local and offshore directories, being good SEO practice.
But today, in 2013, with Googles penguin updates and their hummingbird introduction, it seems more and more focus will be upon good, relevant content. Backlinks in the traditional sense via directories and article sites are now of little value.
Content and Social Validation – Not backlinks
But special links to your website established by others, not you, are important. This can include those articles written by journalists on news websites (the hidden value of good PR), or highly regarded corporate sites in your specific sector linking to you for specific purposes. (Our SEO and beer case study was a good example of this). And most importantly today, all those links coming via social media channels like Facebook and Linked in are critical too. This is another area you do have some control over.
This is all validation of you by independent third parties. As we’ve said many times, it’s not only what you say about yourself that’s important, but what others say about you. Here’s a good summary of the changes in Google this year from SEO super-geek, Jim Stewart. As he has commented on several occasions “… forget about link building. Link building and backlinks are dead… set up a blog instead…”